Posts Tagged ‘wow’

Cool Guys Don’t Look At Explosions

Yeah, cool guys really don’t. Even when they’re Mark Wahlberg.

It’s Friday night in my country, and I got nothing better to do than posting an update for my blog. I mean, that is something special, considering the great irregularity in which I keep you up to date about my nerdy hobbies and my internal workings. So what happened in the last days?

I was quite busy on my World of Warcraft character, farming and buying Runecloth to boost my reputation with the Darkspear Trolls, and now I can call myself proudly “Akinya of Sen’jin”! The title was long overdue and is anything but special, but I’m still proud of it. Next project: Argent Champion. I’m not looking forward to all the Scholo / Strat runs…*sigh*

In other news, I’m getting more and more impatient during my wait for Champions Online. Cryptic is teasing me and all the other sad people who didn’t win a beta key in one of the many free-give aways with more and more “candy”, like previews of different Power Sets, interviews about Nemesis and Omega system, and other very diabolic tools purely designed to increase the already cosmic hype about this digital entertainment creation. Stop doing that, Cryptic, or I’m sending you the bill of my psychological treatment.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in MMO-country, BioWare is starting to turn on the marketing machine for Star Wars: The Old Republic. With appearances on the PAX and the Gamescom (where I also will be, yay!), BioWare is hoping to increase attention for its newest product in the Old Republic timeline of Star Wars. Someone should phone their CEO and tell him that every sentient MMO-fan is already watching this product more carefully than his own child. Still, BioWare announced gameplay demo’s and the earlier named conventions, and I hope that there will be enough pods at the Gamescom, so I don’t have to stand in line behind some fat, stinking Star Wars freak who keeps reciting quotes from some secret DVD bonus content, just to impress all the other nerds in a ten yard radius, hoping a girl who digs his fetish will hear it and lay down with him beside their Midichlorian-powered fire, while I have to endure this all waiting for my turn to rip people apart with a lightsaber. If there’s a God, such a scenario will not happen.

Furthermore, my brother got bored of pew-pewing people as a vacuum-cleaner-gun-wearing bovine hero, and decided to pimp our Wii collection with Wii Sports Resorts and some new Wii MotionPlus stuff. I promise a review of the game at the end of this weekend, but from the short moments I’ve spent with it, I can tell you that bashing people with a foam sword was never so funny as in Sports Resorts.

And lastly, I’ve completed week 2 of the hundredpushups.com – program. Coming Sunday, I will do my first exhaustion test to see how far my tiny biceps has increased in kinetic force, and on what level the program will continue for me. Excitement abound, and you will read all about it here!

Well, that’s it for the Friday update. Make sure to come back next Sunday for the next update, and I wish you all a great weekend. Be careful on the alcohol!

Signed,

Aki

Reporting in!

Heya chaps!

Long time no see, or read, whatever you prefer. Yeah, I’ve kinda ignored this blog for a while, but now I’m back! Why? Well, so you can read what is going on in my life at the moment, and so that I can fall asleep tonight with the happy thought that there are people who actually CARE about the stuff I post here. Yeehah!

First of all, I’m enjoying my break from the university at the moment. I’m off until August 31, and I’m using the time to catch up on some old hobbies. Lately, I’ve put some love again in my Troll Shaman on WoW, with my latest addition of four new items in one Naxx25 run! Still, I feel like WoW is dying for me, even though I like healing in raids. Maybe it’s more than normal that you start losing interest in something you’ve been doing for four-and-a-half years, right? Nevertheless, my current occupation in WoW is learning the trick to “play” the Auction House, and I’m already making some minor profit on vendoring / reselling items. It’s quite an awesome feeling to log in on your bank alt, and see that you have 150g in your mail, and two hours later you check it again, and you have 100g in it. Can we spell “Ka-ching”?

While we are on the topic of MMO’s, I’m quite hyped about Champions Online at the moment. Being a closet fan of City of Heroes, I was waiting for more games in the superhero genre, and Champions Online seems to be the next best thing in that, still very small, niche of MMO’s. Even though my inside sources tell me that CO still struggles with quite some issues, I still want to play this. And tell me, which MMO came out just perfect? No my little fan boys, even World of Warcraft was, and is, flawed.

In other news, I’ve started to do something more for my physical well-being, and I’m currently following the training scheme from www.hundredpushups.com , training you six weeks long to achieve those magical one-hundred consecutive push-ups. Right now, I’m in week 2 of the program, and I’m already noticing the effects. Let’s see if I can make the one-hundred, shall we?

So, that’s it for now. I’m gonna write a bit more short fiction, just to chill out. So, catch you later, chaps!

Signed,

Aki

The Troll’s Opinion – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Okay, first of all: Spoiler Alert! This review is full of descriptions of important parts of the movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and don’t want to mess up your own experience, do yourself a favor and do not read this. You have been warned.

I admit that I am a person who really believes the hype, unlike what a certain rap song tries to tell me. But when I saw the first teaser for Transformers 2, or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I was sold. And after my big brother teased me even more by going to the premiere of the movie in the US, I just had to see it too. So, I grabbed my buddy Daniel, and we went to the movies.

So, in case you can’t be bothered with reading this whole review, let me sum it up for you in the words of the Nostalgia Critic: adequately satisfying. Starting off very good, the film had its moments of random, forced humor and stupid scenes that just didn’t contribute to the movie. So, how did it go, Aki?

Well, as I said, the movie starts off extremely well, showing us how the Autobots that remained on Earth work together with a special military unit called NEST to seek and destroy remaining Decepticons. During an operation in Shanghai, the Autobots and their organic buddies blow up half of the city, and the American government is anything but pleased. Arguing that the Autobots will just draw more Decepticons to Earth, a representative of the President demands them to leave, so that Earth will not become the battlefield for an alien vendetta. Optimus Prime, still being voiced by the awesome Peter Cullen, understands the fear of the humans, but knows that the recent growth of Decepticon activity has a completely different reason, namely the return of the so-called “Fallen”… (insert dramatic music here).

Meanwhile, our protagonist Samuel Witwicky (Shia LeBouef) prepares for leaving to his college in Europe (by the looks of it, I guess he’s studying in Britain). While calling his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan “Hot Piece of Booty” Fox), he discovers a sliver of the Allspark in one of his old, torn-up sweaters. As Sam touches the shard, he is infused with the knowledge of weird, alien symbols, and turns into a complete mindfuck in the coming days. The height of his possession comes during his first astronomy class, and afterwards he paints the walls of his dorm full with the cryptic signs. This seems to draw the attention of a hot co-ed, who turns out to be A FREAKING DECEPTICON! Since when do Transformers take the form of a human?

Oh well, it all turns awesome when the Decepticons start to hunt Sam because of his knowledge, which seems to be the travelling guide to some kind of Sun-sucking machine, which turns the energy of stars into pure Energon, the lifeforce of every Cybertronian. However, the Autobots know what it means when the Decepticons, now clearly lead by the enigmatic Fallen, would blast out the sun: not only would the entire human race be doomed, but the Decepticons would have enough Energon to raise a whole army, even without the Allspark. A thrilling race against time starts, full of explosions, epic battles, a bit of romance and the death of Optimus Prime.

Who-whoa-whoa-what?! Optimus freaking Prime dies? No worries, crying fanboys, he is resurrected, but I was kinda shocked when he was stabbed to death by Megatron (who’s voiced again by Elro…ehh, Mr. Smi…ehh, Hugo Weaving). Even though this is a good twist, I can’t help it but feeling like this movie could have been so much more…

Of course, it had some really awesome stuff. For example, Jetfire is one of the coolest Transformers I have ever seen: old, senile and relying on a walking stick / battleaxe to walk around. Everytime he talked, I had to think of all those Vietnam veterans telling their cruel war stories. Jetfire is even so old, that his transformation looks clunky and anything but smooth! Also, the special effects and combat scenes are off the chain. Just like in the first movie, the fights between gigantic robots, with little human soldiers crawling beneath them look unbelievable epic and awesome. And last but not least, there’s not just one very pretty lady in this flick, but two (even though the second turns out to be some brain-eating killer machine)!

Still, this movie is flawed in several ways, suffering clearly of Sequelilitis. Some of the dialogue just feels crappy and rather weird, and the kid-friendly characters like the twins Mudflap and Skids started to annoy me the second they were introduced. Furthermore, the ending is anything but satisfying, turning Optimus Prime into Ultra Optimus Prime and having him one-shot the Big Bad Evil Guy a.k.a. The Fallen. The directors could have really extened that fight, just to give the viewers a satisfying ending. Believe me, I left the cinema with very mixed feelings.

However, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not a bad movie, it’s just not as good as its predecessor. The whole movie just doesn’t feel as epic, dramatic and cool, and just lacks the genuine “kick” of the first one. Still, this movie offers enough to be worth its money: it is a firework of special effects, large-scale combat and even a bit of romance and family drama. It’s not a movie for everyone, but most surely one for us guys who just love to pop open a beer, lean back and enjoy the show. Autobots, transform and roll out!

Signed,

Aki

Status Report

Politics? Done.
English? Done.
Spanish? Grrrrr!

Yeah, my exams are going well. But Spanish tomorrow will probably demoralize me, causing a -5 despair penalty on my next Study Marketing check…sigh…

Signed,
Aki

Rounding up

You know what I just realized a few hours a go? I just had my last classes for this academic year…wow. This year went by extremely fast…damn, it seems like yesterday that I got to know the people I would study with for, hopefully, 4 years. All that’s left to do now is surviving two weeks of exams and re-sits, and then I’m more than ready to enjoy one-and-a-half month of relaxation. Six weeks is quite alot, so what would I like to do in that time?

First of all, I want to take the time for reading a good book. It has been quite awhile since I worked my way through a fine novel, even though I enjoy nothing more than finishing my day by reading a few chapters before falling asleep. Also, I should use the spare time to write down some of my ideas, and get a little longer story going. Maybe the summer break is the ideal time to elaborate on my Anthanatos concept?

Second, I would love to take a little trip somewhere in Europe. I have some options, with an attractive invitation to visit Sweden for a while (thanks for that, Joakim!). So, who knows, I might update my blog from there during the break? 😀

And last, but not least, summer break is the ideal time to do something nerdish, just to keep up the reputation. So, anyone who has input on that, just drop me a line. Anything’s possible: from a Stargate SG-1 marathon, to a crazy experimental RPG one-shot.

For now, I’m off to enjoy the evening. I adivce you to do the same, especially with this song I just can’t get out of my head:

Signed,

Aki

P.S.: Yes, it’s a new blog skin. Awesomesauce, righto?

Japantag 2009

One week left until having to endure an entire week of exams, so what does lil’ Aki do? Nope, he’s not studying…he had some off-the-hook fun at the Japantag 2009 in Düsseldorf, Germany!

The Japantag (english: Japan Day) is an annual festival organized by the city of Düsseldorf to celebrate the unique relationship between Germany and Japan (which is about more than just covering each others back in some World War almost 70 years a go). All along the Rhine, you’ll find stands and shows, and to go out with a bang, the day is concluded by an awesome fireworks show.

My personal reason for going to the Japantag, however, is not just my interest in Japanese society and culture, but also my fascination for the strangests hobbies around: Cosplay and Japanese fashion. Now, don’t be scared: I will probably never dress up as some Anime character myself, but I love to so people investing their spare time in creating brilliant and beautiful outfits. I had the chance to marvel at some truly masterful outfits this year, but sadly, my eyes also had to endure terrible pain and agony caused by chubby little girls who felt like dressing up in mini-skirts and far too tight tanktops. I hope that the memory will fade some day…

Anyway, I had a damn good time this year. I had the chance to see people that I hadn’t seen for ages (still, Laura, we still have to meet up again!), laugh about silly jokes, eat gross food and fall asleep at 4 AM this morning with a feeling of pure satisfaction and delight.

Unfortunately, I haven’t received much photos yet, but I can give you this one:

haru markus japantag 2009

Can’t you see, posing is my specialty!

I’ll update this blog as soon as I have some new pictures, so stay tuned!

Signed,

Aki

The Geek Pit

People who know me know my geek-potential, which is quite high. So, to figure out how geeky I truly am, they ask me questions like: Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers? Pokémon or Digimon? Dungeons & Dragons or Tunnels & Trolls? Well, most of the time, I just ignore queries like those, but one question just keeps coming back:

“Aki, are you more in the Star Wars or the Star Trek camp?”

Frankly, I don’t even know. So, to see which of these two franchises can conquer my heart, I’ll have them duke it out in The Geek Pit: Star Wars vs. Star Trek! In a three-round epic battle, we will see which science-fiction brand is King of the Hill! A word of caution: I do not base this fight on any objective perception and empirical study, just on my bare gut feeling. So in case you’re not sharing my opinion…don’t try to find out where I live.

Round 1: Creativity

When it comes to science-fiction, I like my shows to be in some way original, and not just as some carbon copy of something I have seen a million times. Both Star Trek and Star Wars are the foundation of many of our modern sci-fi clichés, but what was their “catching phrase” when they came out, and which one was better?

When Star Trek aired in 1966, it had some very creative stuff: spaceships flying at post-light speed called “warp”, alien races that were either friendly or extremely deadly, and the technology to “beam” objects and living beings around. Later on, Star Trek discovered that their fanbase was largely made up of PhD’s and semi-scientists, so they could turn it up to eleven and add even more half-true technobabble, giving the franchise the reputation for being quite a “realistic” outlook on how our future could look. However, this made the show also very, very heavy and somehow even truly philosophical, which is not exactly what you want on your Friday evening while enjoying a cold beer.

Eleven years later, the first Star Wars movie aired. Before going into premiere, George Lucas organized a private presentation of the film for the crew and their friends and family. After the movie ended, George’s wife just said: “What an amount of bullshit” (or something like that). Well, miss Lucas, apparently science-fiction fans just LOVE bullshit, since the franchise is the best-selling movie series after James Bond and Harry Potter. What makes Star Wars stand out is the unique combination of science-fiction technology and space-faring heroes with classical fantasy elements like the quest of a Chosen One and an order of noble knights using a mysterious power (the Jedi and the Force). Definitely, Star Wars is a lot more epic than its rival: it has the bigger space-fights, the more dramatic one-on-one-duels and that gritty feel to it. All in all, the whole concepts and ideas behind this brand are more accessible to the broad public than Star Trek is.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my share of intellectual talk about the probability that a worm hole could end in subspace, causing a spaceship to be reduced to nothing but quantum particles. But let me tell you where Star Wars has the cutting edge when it comes to creativity and shaping the science-fiction genre, next to epic storytelling and revolutionary shots: lightsabers. Say whatever you want, but lightsabers are the coolest thing that ever came from a director’s mind. So, I have to say…Round 1 goes to Star Wars!

Round 2: Coming of age

Now, we all know that both franchises are old: Star Trek turned 43 this year, and Star Wars is just ten years younger. However, my question is: how did both franchises evolve over time?

The Star Trek franchise spawned six television series and about a dozen full-length feature movies, each exploring different parts of that big Star Trek cosmos. Until today, nerds fight about who is the best captain, and what ship was the most awesome. But in the end, all that matters is that Star Trek was one heck of a productive franchise in these last 43 years, and…the women on the show got more gorgeous! Nichelle Nichols a.k.a. Uhura from the Original Series was not THAT special, but just look at Jeri Ryan a.k.a. Seven of Nine. Damn, if all Borg looked that HOT, I would get myself assimilated ASAP!

Certainly, resistance to this IS futile...

Certainly, resistance to this IS futile...

Now, women are not everything (but, frankly, quite much), but Star Trek did quite some other stuff to keep itself alive, with its latest spawn being the new Star Trek movie. Even though most Trekkies (including me) are disappointed, the movie did manage to give Star Trek a young and more action-packed face. This franchise isn’t dead yet, even though it limits its presence mostly to telly shows and big-screen movies.

Star Wars, on the other hand, made sure to fully use every medium available, and did especially well on the novel and comic book market. Also, the “new” trilogy gave the whole saga an even more epic presentation, giving Lucas the chance to show the world what he really had in mind when he started filming the original trilogy way back in the seventies. Also, media coming out under the label of “Expanded Universe” keeps the cosmos of Star Wars growing and growing, elaborating on existing storylines and adding new ones. The television show “The Clone Wars” used quite an original animation style to depict the events between episode II and III, and novels and comics based around the movies just keep coming.

However, Star Wars didn’t change much in these 33 years. Where the Star Trek franchise actually at least tried to look like it changed (changing crews, ships and locations in the universe), the galaxy of Star Wars just remained the same for the ignorant observant. So, I’m afraid I have to cut Star Trek some slack here. Round 2 goes to Star Trek!

Final Round: Memorable characters

No matter how good your plot is, no matter how expensive your special effects are: if your characters are dull and boring, your story is an instant failure. Luckily, both Star Trek and Star Wars are rich with thrilling personas, races and factions. But which brand has the coolest of ‘em?

When it comes to Star Trek, most people will think of either Captain James Kirk or Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as they are the hallmark of the different captains. In pop culture, these two have become the reason for the geekiest of discussions: which captain is better? However, Star Trek has some other quite interesting characters, like Scotty, Data, Seven of Nine (forgive me, but…RAWR!) and the hologram Doctor. Unfortunately, most of these never really got into the common mass media, and stay quite unremembered outside of the nerd-o-sphere.

Enter Star Wars, a brand that managed to create the most stereotype of sci-fi bad guys, who’s most renowned quote gets abused so often in pop culture it’s not even funny anymore: Darth Vader. Who DOESN’T know him? His suit, helmet and voice are more than remarkable, and what bad guy can say he has a theme like him? Pure awesome! But we’re not done yet! Who’s green and never heard of grammar, but kicks your ass anytime? Oh yes, Jedi Master Yoda! Another character that gets quoted so often and somehow everyone tries to speak like the little gnome, but fails miserably due to being educated in linguistic structures. Even sidekicks like Admiral Ackbar made it into pop culture just because of one damn line!

So, I hate to break it to you, but this final round just has to go to Star Wars. I think we have a winner!

STAR WARS WINS!

But don’t worry, Trekkies, it’s not like I don’t like your stuff. If you just had light sabers and Force powers, instead of technobabble and Vulcans…

Signed,

Aki